6 years, 9 months on Open Salon__________________________


New York, New York,
April 22

JANUARY 19, 2012 11:30AM

Roadkill brought us closer together, part one

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It was February, 1976 and I was in my junior year at art school in Providence. A chance meeting of my longtime classmate and friend, Maria, at a gallery opening took me by surprise. She had taken the year off and was back in town for just two days. I hadn't seen or heard from her since May of '75 when the previous school year ended.

In a nutshell, the crux of the conversation was similar to the following:

"Wow, where have you been...great to see you!"

"John, same here...taking this year off has really helped me zero in on my future plans."

"My year off from school helped me a lot, too. Are you coming back next year?"

 "Yeah, I'll be back in September."


Maria (pronounced like "Mariah") and I had known each other since freshman year when we were both in the same photography class. She was a student at Brown University and later transferred to RISD the following year. She was a photo major, something she was inspired to do after freshman year and her first major introduction to photography. We both should have graduated in May, '76, but I had taken a year off after freshman year and now with her away during '75-'76 year we would both be seniors in the fall and graduate in '77.



Maria, on the right, with a friend of hers at the reception. I should have taken a better photo of her that night as I had no foreshadowing of what was in store for us in the new school year starting in September.


This particular gallery opening was in the lower level of the What Cheer parking garage. It was an old, raw, unheated space and the first time I had ever seen it used for displaying artwork. All of the pieces on display were the work of artists/students who were employees of Joe's, a sandwich shop on Benefit Street which was housed in an old classical building one door up from the apartment house where I was renting.

The gallery we were standing in was just up the street from Joe's and about two blocks from the RISD campus where nearly everyone attending the show that evening was either a student or teacher.


In the series of photos below are various shots I took of classmates and friends that evening:














The event was documented in 16mm. RISD film department head Marz Marzynski is next to the student holding the camera:






One of my graphic design classmates took this shot of moi using my camera, capturing me in my Austin Powers/bad hair look of the period:



Of my four years in school this would be the largest turnout I ever saw for any show of student work and a great evening to remember all of my friends gathered in one spot one cold February evening. How a few friends present that night would figure in my life during the coming months and years was a story about to unfold.




(Note: I had a post last June that also discussed Maria along with the subject of how the drinking age has been raised since we were students.

Also, this short series is a prelude to events that occur in my other series "Grad School Tales" which will resume after the "Roadkill" part of the story is complete.)




 Photos and text are © 2012 by B+Co., Inc.



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Photos download so slow.
Yes. Remember detention.
Three days for beer breath.
Most likely to no perceive.
No front teeth at our age.
Boomers with bad breath.
But, we cam be @ O.S. &
manage OS insane asylum.
AH! stay in coo coo nest.
Behave and stay sane as
hick with hiccups @ O.S..
Fun commonsense read.
Relieved to find out this wasn't a "foodie Tuesday" post. Yours is an extensive time capsule. Nice.
It is so amazing to me to see all these vintage pictures. I am so envious of them all. Cannot wait for more.
Intriguing - and I love the photo of you!
Wonderful opening post for an intriguing life. R
Man, did I look like that too. My hair should have grown back out by then, and I was smoking enough pot to heal the Dead! Can't wait for Pt 2!
Absolutely loved these B&W's John.
Interesting story to read...more soon me hopes...
Ahhh ... I thought this post might have been the OS Rock band playing an early draft of the Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together," but I guess not ;-)

Love the photos (and I see what you mean about the Elvis Costello glasses).
Looking forward to more. Great Black & Whites. And that picture of you - so 70's!
Myriad, wonderful to see another nostalgia fan here like myself! Thanks very much!

Art, I can sympathize with the slow download of the photos--whenever the high speed internet has hiccups the problems begin! Thank you for the cool comment!

Stacey, not Foodie Tuesday this time around, but beware of future installments! As always, thanks very much for your great comment!

Linda, I was thinking the same thing as I scanned these. I never printed the photos up in all of the years the negs were sitting here and I can tell you the memories came flooding back like a tsunami as I was viewing the scans on the screen. Thanks very much for your wonderful comment!

Alysa, thanks for the compliment about the old photo of me! I would have liked being often mistaken for a famous movie star, but that wasn't in the cards!

Thoth, I really appreciate the huge compliment and kind words! Thank you!

Scanner, yes...a perpetual bad hair day for weeks on end! I'm looking forward to finishing part 2 and thanks for your great comment!

Suzanne, another installment in a day or two and thank you for your warm and friendly comment!

VA, Captain & Tennille...LMAO!! Glad you caught another sight of those Elvis Costello glasses. This series will be heavily loaded with shots of them! Thanks for the wonderful comment!

Marlene, lots of '70s looks in this series still to come and thank you for your great comment and compliments!!
Moody black and white...And you just look a little tousled, that's all.
Linnnn, most of the time in those days I had no idea how my hair was misbehaving at any given moment due to no mirror along with me for a "quick hair check!" Thank you for the wonderful comment!